- Associated Press - Thursday, November 26, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - DUI cases may be impacted by a state Supreme Court decision that ousted a defendant’s breath test as evidence.

A state law making it a misdemeanor to refuse a breath test was called unconstitutional Wednesday in a concurring opinion by Hawaii Supreme Court Justice Michael Wilson, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (https://bit.ly/21ifgbf).

Yong Shik Won was convicted of driving under the influence in 2011. He submitted to a breath test after signing a consent form acknowledging he faced fines up to $1,000 and 30 days in jail if he refused.

Officials say other states in the country have similar laws.

Justices Sabrina McKenna and Richard Pollack found Won did not consent to the breath test. Wilson was the only justice to call the law unconstitutional.

Won’s attorney Jonathan Burge argued the law violates the Fourth Amendment to the constitution that protects against unreasonable search and seizure.

“If you don’t consent to this search, you’re going to go to jail for 30 days,” Burge said. “And that’s what they told people as they did all this.”

Burge estimates 3,000 other pending DUI cases could be impacted by the ruling, though evidence from field sobriety tests could still lead to convictions.


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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